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Covid-19: First Human Vaccine Trials Start

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

Ellis Jackson reveals encouraging news from US that human trials for a Covid-19 vaccine have started | Science and Sentience

Photo by Vital Sinkevich

The first human trials of a possible Covid-19 vaccine have begun in Seattle, Washington as of Monday 16th March. These trials are the first opportunity for scientists to evaluate the effectiveness of one potential vaccine against the virus developed by American company Moderna, in collaboration with the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Four volunteers at the Kaiser Permanente research centre in Northern California received a jab containing a harmless genetic code copied from that of the coronavirus. This vaccine was developed 63 days after the genetic sequence of the virus was shared by Chinese authorities.

This is the first step of many in the clinical trials to understand the potential benefits of the vaccine prototype named mRNA-1273, and, if it works, what level of dosage is required to induce an immune response against the virus in its recipients.

"The open-label trial will enroll 45 healthy adult volunteers ages 18 to 55 years over approximately 6 weeks," the NIH said. "The first participant received the investigational vaccine today." On the day of 16th March.

Almost 200,000 People Affected

The Covid-19 strain of coronavirus has infected more than 200,000 people across the world since it was first identified in Wuhan, China in late December. This includes 2626 people infected in Britain, although it is estimated that the actual total may number 35,000 – 50,000 cases due to the fact that many people are either self-isolating without access to a test, or are carrying the virus without displaying any symptoms.

There are currently no fully-developed vaccines against Covid-19 being distributed to the public, so scientists around the world are fast-tracking research for potential solutions to this deadly pandemic. Many countries are budgeting large sums of money to be invested in research of the virus and its treatments, and planning how to combat its effects; the United States has pledged £8.3B, and the UK, £12B.

Tips to Help Against Coronavirus

Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the World Health Organisation website and through your national and local public health authority.

Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy stance during this health emergency:

  1. Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

  2. Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

  3. Stay at home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority and government restriction-enforcements.

  4. Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19


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